Friday, September 9, 2011

Finding the Perfect Homestead - Part 2

In a previous post ( Part 1 ) I talked about our water needs on a farm.  I have decided that we really need a place with it's own well.  Lately we have been thinking about how much land we need.  To get an idea of what I needed,  I sat down and made a list of what I would want to have.  Of course the house and out-buildings, chickens, garden, cattle for milk and meat, fruit and nut trees, and wood for heat and cooking.  Now finding a place with trees is not an issue.  We live in the Black Hills region of South Dakota, so things to burn in a wood stove is not a concern.  Chickens are pretty adaptable and since we would only have a small flock for personal use, again, this is not a concern.  Now when we started thinking about cattle this is where we really have to do some researching.  We will need a breed that is adaptable to the harsh South Dakota winters and provides both milk and meat.  Dexters seem to be exactly what I am looking for.  They are a small breed of cattle that requires half the room and feed that an average meat breed (Angus) would need.  I have been in contact with a gentleman in my area that raises Dexters.  He has invited my family and I to his ranch to see his "girls" up close.  I can't wait.

Well, back to the land subject (I always seem to get off track).  When I look at our needs, I would feel comfortable looking for a place with about 20 to 30 acres.  Half of that would probably need to be cleared, which is something that with hard work and time, we could do ourselves.  I have found a couple places within our budget that look like they would fit our needs.  We have an appointment with a realtor next week to see a couple places, so in the mean time I will just have to continue researching and hopefully find time to visit my new friend with the Dexters.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Christina!
    I read this article and the Part 1 you had posted. I have the same water concerns. We have MUD (Municiple Utility District) ...we've had it for 15 1/2 years. Prior to that we had city water.
    Point is I ,like you, am not fond of being at the mercy of Government run utility.
    My husband doesn't like change and though he doesn't want to be at the mercy of gov. run or regulated facility either...he is a 'hard sell' for all the reasons we need to be self sustained and have a well.
    We have an underground spring that runs through our property- no stock tank, and have an old capped well.
    I've been researching options too.
    Digging/ hand drilling one ourselves---I've found some great links regarding these ideas.
    Husband had heart attack in May and is his motivation is low right now.
    Water is vitally important to a homestead and we are just starting out on this venture. Though like I said we've lived here 15 years. It pains me to think of all the years we've lost here on our 4 acres--- we could be so much further ahead of the game, had we stayed the course early on and not become distracted with keeping up with the Jones. (hope your last name isn't Jones...hehehe!)

    I'm hoping you're able to find all that you desire in completing your Homestead dream. I'm enjoying reading your blog.

    Stop by and chat me up sometime!
    Nice to meet you, Pat


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